Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) vs. Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)

The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (Microsoft EA) was once the contractual model for large companies with over 500 jobs. However, the complex three-year agreement is increasingly being called into question. As cloud-based services like Azure and Office 365 become the norm, large enterprises are changing the way they buy products and looking for more flexible licensing options. The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (Microsoft CSP) Program could be the answer.

The right choice is crucial in business, but sometimes it is difficult to make the best decision for the company. This is also the case when it comes to commissioning services for Azure and other Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365. For many years, companies have signed an Enterprise Agreement (EA) directly with Microsoft. Now, however, there is a new option called Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). Companies can sign a contract directly with a certified Microsoft partner.

Both offer similar services and similar prices. So how do you decide which is the right choice for your business? In the following we take a look at the two types of contracts in several key areas.

 
 
 

  • Anzahl Benutzer
  • Flexible Lizenzierung
  • Benutzer hinzufügen/entfernen
  • Vertragslaufzeit
  • Zahlungsbedingungen
  • "True-Up" Korrekturabrechnung
  • Support
  • Produkte
  • Azure-Nutzung

Enterprise
Agreement
(EA)

  • Anzahl Benutzer
    mindestens 500
  • Flexible Lizenzierung
  • Benutzer hinzufügen/entfernen
    Jederzeit, aber mit True-Up
  • Vertragslaufzeit
    Mindestens 3 Jahre
  • Zahlungsbedingungen
    Im Voraus, jährlich
  • "True-Up" Korrekturabrechnung
    jedes Jahr
  • Support
    bereitgestellt von Microsoft, über allgemeine 800er-Nummer oder Online, Premium-Support gegen Aufpreis
  • Produkte
    Alle Microsoft Produkte
  • Azure-Nutzung
    Mindestabnahme je Monat

Cloud
Solution Provider
(CSP )

  • Anzahl Benutzer
    flexibel
  • Flexible Lizenzierung
  • Benutzer hinzufügen/entfernen
    Jederzeit, je nach Bedarf
  • Vertragslaufzeit
    Pay as you go
  • Zahlungsbedingungen
    monatlich oder jährlich
  • "True-Up" Korrekturabrechnung
    keine
  • Support
    bereitgestellt vom CSP-Partner, ausgerichtet auf den Kunden
  • Produkte
    Alle Microsoft Cloud Produkte
  • Azure-Nutzung
    Pay as you go

 

A Microsoft EA is a three-year contract and requires that at least 500 licenses be purchased simultaneously. For Office 365, the most frequently purchased license option, the sum of all options (E1, E3, and E5 licenses) is the total license amount. Customers pay in advance for the entire year at once, which is unexpected for a cloud service. Usage licenses added during the year are due for payment on the next annual billing date. Purchase quantities may increase at any time during the year, but may decrease only by notification 30 days prior to annual billing. For example, if a company reduces the number of licenses used in the first month after the annual statement, the license can still become due for another 11 months.

The Microsoft CSP licensing is based on a monthly subscription and a contract with a Microsoft CSP partner. There is no minimum purchase obligation. Each used license stands for itself. Customers pay monthly or annually to simplify processing. The purchase quantity can be adjusted at any time.

Microsoft EA

Microsoft recommends the Enterprise Agreement to large companies if

  1. in the enterprise the necessity exists to negotiate the contract bases with Microsoft on basis of the purchase volume.
  2. affiliated companies must be included in the contract.
  3. the company needs a 3-year fixed price for software and subscriptions for easy calculation within the company.
  4. the company needs a 3-year fixed price for software and subscriptions for easy calculation within the company.

Microsoft CSP

Microsoft recommends companies that are starting their 3-year EA renewal take a closer look at the CSP licensing options for Azure usage, Microsoft 365, Office 365, and EMS subscriptions if

  1. the company will fall below the threshold of < 500 licenses in the next period.
  2. the company cannot predict annual Azure usage and the number of subscriptions to Office 365 or Microsoft 365.
  3. the company is at the beginning of the use of Azure, Office 365 or Microsoft 365 and cannot yet provide all services to every employee.
  4. the company needs a partner as a consultant for the implementation project and to provide individual support.

 

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